There's good news for people who have owned a home in Auckland since 2014 and not yet sold it - you could be sitting on a quarter of a million dollars or more, at least on paper.
Newly analysed property statistics in today's OneRoof Report show the median Auckland house value has risen $261,250 from 2014 to 2019, while the typical value across the country has risen $75,000.
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For those who haven't sold since then, especially in Auckland, that's a huge amount of potential "untapped equity" .
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan says: "We found 402 suburbs across New Zealand that saw median value growth between 2014 and 2019 of more than $250,000 - the amount of money someone on the average wage would have earned in the same time period.
"That means that there are potentially at least 225,000 properties that earned more than a median wage or salary earner."
People with enough equity in their home, who meet a bank's criteria, can use that paper value instead of a cash deposit to buy an investment property or bach.
But the fish hook is that if you can't make the repayments on your second property, the bank could take both your properties as your home was the deposit guarantee.
Kumeu's lifestyle block owners were the biggest winners, according to new data in the March 2020 OneRoof Property Report.
Their properties typically rose $950,000 in the last five years and had a low resale rate, meaning many people still owned the same properties from 2014 and were potentially sitting on close to a million dollars of untapped equity.
Herne Bay was Auckland's next biggest potential equity goldmine due to its low resale rate and $815,000 in value gain since 2014, followed by Omaha where values had risen $725,000.
Among lower priced suburbs Wellsford's median price had risen by $220,000 in five years and also had a relatively low resale rate, delivering potential untapped equity.
The paper gains come on the back of a decade of rises house prices and seem likely to keep growing.
Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens now tipped annual house price growth to hit 10 per cent by mid-year.
Suburbs with development potential were especially profitable on paper.
Outlying Kumeu, Puhoi, Coatesville and Whitford with their lifestyle blocks were among those with Auckland's highest price growth and least resales since 2014, James Wilson, head of valuation at OneRoof's data partners Valocity, said.
Prices in these suburbs had been pushed up as residential development crept closer, yet many owners were yet to sell because they loved living on their semi-rural blocks.
This was particularly the case in Kumeu where prices had now started falling due to a slump in demand for newbuild housing developments, but where lifestyle block owners were happily hanging onto their properties, Wilson said.
Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Herne Bay, Mairangi Bay and Omaha, on the other hand, were among the most profitable suburbs to have low churn rates.
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Owners bought and held onto houses in these suburbs for longer periods because of their coastal glamour and exclusivity, Wilson said.
Yet - while these suburbs were potential goldmines for untapped equity - Wilson suspected such financially savvy owners also knew how to best unlock their home's equity.
Wilson said cheaper suburbs tended to be popular with first-home buyers and investors and so resell more often.
It meant home owners in these areas typically had not had time to build up as much equity.
Yet among suburbs with median values below $700,000 and less frequent churn rates, Papatoetoe, Papakura, Clover Park, Eden Terrace and Wellsford were those with the biggest value gains.
Yet Wellsford values had jumped a healthy $220,000 in five years, it didn't mean it was necessarily a good idea for home owners to use their equity to upsize to a bigger home, Bayleys agent Andrew Rumble said.
"People will say things like 'hell, we paid $300,000 four years ago and now it's worth $500,000'," he said.
"It kind of gobsmacks them, but the downside is that it means 'we can't afford to move because if we sell it whatever we're going to buy is now over-priced'."
Sharon Zollner, chief economist for the ANZ, also cautioned people to think about how they would spend their "wins" from property equity.
She said not only was it so expensive to buy another property but investments were also delivering low returns.
"Everyone, from someone who's got a $20,000 term deposit up to fund managers managing billions, are all facing variations of the same thing, which is 'where on earth do I put my money'," she said.